Personal Views

Sins of youth

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7045.1548 (Published 15 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1548
  1. James Welsh

    Just to the right of my computer screen, pinned on the wall, is a small poster with photographs of eight young Americans— four black and four white—united by events in their teenage years. In the top left is Troy Dugar from Louisiana. He stands wearing a loose overall with his hands clasped in front of him. He looks blankly at the camera and at me. Troy is mentally ill. Moving round the poster clockwise, Gary Davies Hart from Alabama is photographed in near profile and looks like a smart young attorney's clerk, his glasses contributing to an air of seriousness.

    The late Jay Pinkerton, a Texan, is shown full face photographed in mid-word. Below him on the poster is the late Dalton Prejean, looking like a streetwise black young man in a training jacket and woollen hat. Heath Wilkins is the most confident looking person of the eight despite his history of severe abuse as a child. He stands in the Missouri sunshine in singlet, shorts, and trainers, with arms folded across a muscular chest. Sixteen year old Paula Cooper of Indiana is shown full face, a black young woman with short plaited hair. …

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